FYIs for the DIYers
She was going to use her brother-in-law's online photo album Web site – mixbook.com – when he asked whether she'd heard of Instructables.
She became hooked.
At www.instructables.com, do-it-yourselfers share their expertise on everything from making fresh mozzarella to making bookshelves from cardboard, from tapping a watermelon for its juice to making your own audio speakers.
That makes it the do-it-yourself counterpart to blogging, YouTube, Wikipedia and the many other parts of Web 2.0 that enable people to put their individual stamps on the broader consciousness.
Such efforts have changed all media as newspapers and TV embraced citizen participation in providing content. In a salute to average experts like Lee, The Bee is publishing her step-by-step instructions on how to make a monster friend.
Instructables is as much for sharing your own work as for picking up tips, said Instructables chief executive Eric Wilhelm, who co-founded the site in 2006 with a bunch of high-tech engineers in the Bay Area.
"I'm always on the (Instructables) Web site," said Lee, who works in the nutrition department at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento. "There are always really good ideas on there. Some people are really creative."
Lee is modest about her efforts, but she is among the creative. She contributed (under the screen name cuteaznprincesss) a simple way to make the monster dolls.
Instructables, which gets 4 million unique visits per month, featured her idea. More than 100 users complimented the project, and some showed photos of how they'd followed it.
"Someone made it out of a sock, which is kind of gross," Lee said.
She also provided instructions for making a decorated shoe rack from a fruit box because, she wrote, "not many of us own a Carrie Bradshaw-sized closet with walls devoted exclusively for our humble collection of footwear."
Lee has made three of them for her tiny east Sacramento apartment.
The uses for Instructables are myriad.
However, this report was not produced with the aid of the Instructables project titled, "Write a creative nonfiction article in 10 difficult steps."